Maritime Heritage Minnesota (MHM) conducted a limited excavation into the Mississippi River bank in Aitkin, MN where the steamer wreck Andy Gibson is located. MHM conducted preliminary nautical archaeological documentations of the wreck site in Autumn 2008 and Summer and Autumn 2009 during low water conditions. It was determined that a substantial portion of the wreck site lay in situ underneath several feet of the river bank and it was hypothesized that the starboard (right) side gunwale may be intact within the bank. In October 2010 during high water conditions, MHM sunk three small trenches into the river bank. The first trench was placed as far aft (toward the stern, or back of the wreck) as possible; the river bank becomes nearly perpendicular toward the stern and trenches could not be sunk in this area considering the conditions. MHM sunk Trench 1 where, through visual inspection and with reference to historic photographs of the site, it was surmised the gunwale would lie. On Day 2 of the excavation, Trench 1 opened up right on top of an intact gunwale, exactly where MHM hypothesized it would be located. The gunwale's condition was pristine, kept preserved and intact by over a century of protection by the river bank. Trenches 2 and 3 showed the same level of preservation. This report details the history and nautical archaeology of the sternwheel steamer Andy Gibson. This project was funded in part by the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants program - also known as the Legacy Amendment. In Copyright. Copyright to this work is held by Maritime Heritage Minnesota, Ann Merriman, and Christopher Olson. It cannot be downloaded and sold for profit, changed in any way, or redistributed.
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RightsIn Copyright. Copyright to this work is held by Maritime Heritage Minnesota, Ann Merriman, and Christopher Olson. It cannot be downloaded and sold for profit, changed in any way, or redistributed.